Improve the performance

Improve the performance of your laptop using paste.

These are two powerful tweaks that can greatly improve the performance of your laptop. On of the method is used by laptop manufacturers. But before you proceed be sure that you are fully aware of risks. There is risk in opening your laptop and risk in tweaking bios. Do attempt these methods at your own risk.

Improve the performance using a software

This software will give you tremendous control over your CPU. Don’t mess up with all the options available. But we’re going to be dealing with one thing, which is undervolting and it’s super safe. Undervolting is a process where you reduce the voltage that’s going to the CPU, but it doesn’t affect performance at all. You can do this safely because CPUs are fed more voltage than they actually need. It’s just a matter of finding that sweet spot.

The two more popular apps that people use for this are: XTU by Intel and ThrottleStop. Both are free, both are good, but for beginners, I would recommend XTU, because it has all the basic components you need to properly undervolt. First, let’s adjust the graphing monitor to show 30 minutes of data. Do stress test your CPU at its baseline, without any adjustments, just to see what numbers you’re getting.

You can find the hottest and coolest temperature details. Now, the way to undervolt properly is to drop the voltage, run a stress test and if it checks out, drop the voltage again and repeat. You’re basically starving the CPU more and more. And so, to do that in XTU, you go to advanced tuning and on the score tab you click on the core voltage offset and you want to scroll upwards from 0 to see negative numbers.

Remember, you’re undervolting here, so you want to choose a negative number. So, you’re going to start with an undervolt of 50 millivolts. So you are going to reduce it by 0.050 volts. When you run the stress test now you will get different temperatures.

Continue the process step by step by reducing millivolts and stop untill it goes to freeze. This when you will come to know that you have hit the undervolt limit. You might see the famous Windows Blue Screen, don’t worry, restart the device. When you’re there, reboot, go back into XTU and go back to the last voltage that worked.

Every CPU is different, so it’s tough to tell you exactly where to start, but it is recommend looking up your CPU or your particular laptop and seeing what other users with that hardware have been able to undervolt to and just kind of use it as a starting guide.

When you’re done, you can close XTU down, the settings apply even on reboot. You don’t have to keep the front end application open. So, undervolting laptops can give you better thermals, but the best results come from something called repasting.

Improve the performance using re-pasting

When a laptop manufacturer makes a laptop, there comes a point in the manufacturing process, when someone or something usually person has to apply a thermal paste onto the CPU and the GPU.

You can reapply that thermal paste which results in lower temperatures. Thermal paste is the goopy stuff, that you apply on to CPUs or GPUs, to help transfer heat away from it. And the better quality paste that you use and the better the application process, the better of a job that it does.

Again, every laptop is different, so you’ll have to search around to see if people have done it on yours, but the more popular laptops tend to have some kind of guide or tutorial as to “how to do it”.

For the XPS 15 once you’re inside carefully unplug the battery, loosen up the screws, carefully remove the heatpipe assembly and then clean off the original paste, using alcohol or Arctic Cleaner or whatever you want. And then apply some good thermal paste.

Just use good quality paste, like Arctic Silver 5. You don’t need a lot, but you’re better off using too much then way too little. On some laptops, you’ll see thermal pads, you can swap those out for better quality ones or potentially thicker ones.

Basically you want the thermal pad to eliminate any kind of air gap. When you’re done place the heatsink back on. But don’t lift up to check how you did, just trust, because if you lift it up, you can put air bubbles into the paste and that’s no good.

Your laptop will be able to run at maximum clock speed for as long as it wants. And if you play games, render videos or just do anything that pushes your laptop hard, you’re going to get some nice performance gains from this.

The thing is some people are going to jump to the conclusion that this is the best thing ever. It’s cool, it’s awesome, but it’s not for everyone. If you’ve never opened your computer before, if you don’t know what thermal paste is, if you’ve never used it before. You can still learn and figure out how to do this stuff. It’s great once you do, but take your time, do the research. Understand what you’re doing, before you do it, because there is an element of risk to this.

Take your time, do it properly.